The “shame bully” started to raise her voice around the time I was blending smoothies and called the girls for breakfast. My to-do list seemed to grow exponentially by the day: doctors and specialist appointments, contractors and house projects, kids’ activities, and all that accompanies parenthood and one gearing up for another geographical move this summer.
For many of us, the new year is an opportunity for a fresh start. We’ll seize the newness of the season by taking intentional moments to reset and recalibrate. We visualize what the next 365 days hold for us. Perhaps because I grew up in the home of an artist, I liken the new year to a blank canvas ready to be primed and painted with brilliant hues and brush strokes of far-off adventures, rough timelines, and enormous potential.
While the clocks rolled back an hour last weekend, causing darkened skies and bedtime rest to visit us earlier each evening, the official change of the season coincided perfectly with the one taking place within my little family.
Over the past few years, I've been on what I consider to be a soul journey, of sorts, and in the process, learning much about myself. In this current season of my life, getting to know Rachel involves spending time and resources talking with a therapist who draws out parts of my story that I had previously glossed over, or numbed using a variety of means, or even held onto with a death grip. It means having weighty conversations, reconciling my past, questioning assumptions or agreements I've...
Big decisions loom on the horizon.
Some of you are facing them, too. They're the type of decisions that affect your entire family, your finances, your established rhythms, and every aspect of your day-to-day.
Our family had just relocated from a quaint New England college town to the heart of Washington, D.C. We had fallen in love with the city during a recent visit and had jumped at the chance to live in one of our country's most diverse places.
"It's just for two years," our adventurous sides reasoned.
However, the rose-colored lenses through which I had viewed our new quest quickly faded the moment we moved into the place we would live.
There were two incidences that woke me up to the fact that I was “living small.”
The first incident took place one morning at the grocery store: I stepped into an aisle with my shopping basket in the lead; a woman rounding the corner slammed into my basket with hers.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” was my automatic response. The woman looked right at me and didn’t say a word as she shuffled past.
Truth time: I’m on a relentless mission to cleanse our home of everything that clutters and takes up space. And by cleanse, I mean remove.
The act of walking through every square inch of our home and physically removing unwanted objects has been on my to-do list for quite a while now…I’ve just ended up choosing more favorable activities instead.
The assault stole more than my innocence: it also taught me how to withhold forgiveness.
As time marched on, that single event began to chisel away at my soul, leaving me worn, scarred, and enslaved.
[...] The trauma haunted me, yet I would continue to replay it over and over in my mind. I wished I could retrace my steps. Instead of seeking help, I numbed myself any way I could, finding solace in pills, alcohol, and unhealthy relationships.
Living my days on autopilot, I found myself going through the motions. Again.
I have no recollection of inviting this all-too-familiar mode to occupy my headspace, but somewhere along the way I dived in deeply and allowed it to take up residence.